Computerised Neuropsychological Testing for Early Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Project Main Description: 

Diagnosis of mild dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is challenging because cognitive problems are subtle and difficult to detect. Therefore, diagnosis is commonly delayed and many older adults will not receive a diagnosis at all. Our study will evaluate the potential of a brief, easily administered computerised neuropsychological test battery to identify MCI and early dementia and to predict ensuing cognitive decline within the Sydney Memory and Ageing Study, a large community-based old age cohort which has been comprehensively examined and followed longitudinally since 2005.

The computerised SENSUS battery consists of simple and complex reaction time tasks, a computerised version of the Stroop test, and a visuospatial memory task known as the Picture Location test. These measures were designed to tap cognitive processes that are particularly vulnerable at the very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular cognitive disorder, the two most common types of dementia.

image - Computerised Neuropsychological Testing for Early Diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Aims: 

1. To evaluate the utility of a brief computerised battery to (i) identify persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease, and (ii) predict future cases of MCI and Alzheimer’s disease.                                                         

2. To investigate the battery’s additional predictive value over traditional neuropsychological measures, after controlling for a number of dementia risk factors.

3. To examine the battery’s potential as a more culture-fair measure of cognition compared to traditional neuropsychological measures in persons from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Project Status: 
Current
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